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All your Valentine’s Day Mixes & Fixes GO-KARTING A GO?


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player profiles

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Falcon Flier


 names you’ll LOL @  do’s and dont’s

Fredericksburg Academy

Fredericksburg, Virginia

Volume XX

Issue 4

February 2012

Senior on her way to regional Poetry Out Loud competition by MARY GRAY JOHNSON productions, the falcon flier


mani Jones’s peers and classmates anticipate her annual recitation in the schoolwide Poetry Out Loud competition. Most students compete each year only in class competitions, vying for the winning spot, but Jones has won her class competition five times since seventh grade, advancing to the school-wide competition. On this day each year, she pours emotion into the room that permeates the busy brains of upper school students. Her raspy Southern croon is just quiet enough to make them lean forward in their seats, but commanding enough to send shivers down each spine. Off of the stage, Jones can never be found calling extra attention to herself. Despite her gift for performance, which she has proven in Poetry Out Loud, drama class

school plays, and vocal recitals, Jones is polite and quiet, with a clear neutral accent. Her specialty in Poetry Out Loud over the years has been poetry that celebrates African American heritage, with authors Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou. She is currently preparing for the regional competition Feb. 10, since winning the FA competition in December, but doesn’t plan on stopping reciting poetry any time soon. “It’s a great way to show people’s strengths. There are athletes, there are academic [students]. Poetry Out Loud is just another way to show people they can shine,” said Jones, whose specialty has always been African American poetry. Jones sat down with her father to discuss his experience in the south during the civil rights era each year. “We would talk about the meaning of the poem, and where I should go

with each line.” Her tenth and eleventh grade English teacher, Jennifer Clark Evans said, “The African American themes were something that she understood and was proud to share with others who didn’t understand.” Her recitations in the school competition have included Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and other prominent African American writers, until the school-wide competition last year, when Jones threw her audience a major curveball. The thick southern drawl that had become her signature was absent as she announced that she would recite “I felt a funeral in my brain,” by Emily Dickinson. The audience was overwhelmingly supportive of Jones, whose father, Ben Jones, a former FA Board Member, passed away in the spring of 2009. Jones felt differently, calling the recitation a “disaster,” as she was


Senior Imani Jones recited “Degrees of Gray in Phillipsburg” by Richard Hugo in the December POL upper school competition, where she placed first.

overwhelmed by emotion, reliving her father’s funeral on stage. “The Emily Dickinson theme, it was maybe too close to home, and she didn’t feel confident,” said Clark Evans.

Jones is preparing another poem outside of her usual African American theme, one that isn’t as sensitive as Dickinson’s. “She’s been inspirational to the whole program and to anyone

who knows her. I just think that the idea that she discovered a talent and then pursued it despite obstacles, it can inspire anyone at the school,” said Clark Evans.

AFFECT Club promotes Early acceptances provide relief THREE SENIORS COMMIT TO TOP CHOICE COLLEGES BEFORE CHRISTMAS BREAK diversity and tolerance by SAMANTHA KING


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FA has always prided itself on its close-knit community and freedom of expression. It is perhaps because of this environment that students have never felt a need for a specific club to promote tolerance. However, this year, juniors Erin Eggleston, Mary Fried and Mimi Wack created AFFECT (Acceptance, Fairness, Freedom, Expression, Compassion, Tolerance), a club designed to promote diversity and acceptance. Eggleston, Fried, Wack, Director of Admission Ana De Leon Calef, and Head of School Karen Moschetto attended the Student Diversity Leadership Conference in Philadelphia Dec. 1-3 in order to discuss issues of diversity and discrimination with 1,500 students from across the nation. continued on page 3

More than 1/3 of LGBT kids have attempted suicide. LGBT kids are 4x more likely to attempt suicide then straight kids. LGBT kids with “highly rejecting” families are 8x more likely to attempt suicide than those who have accepting families. * LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender stats provided by

Countdowns 19 days... Winter Break 49 days... Foreign Language Week 61 days... Spring Break 89 days... Prom

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Tis the season… for college applications and acceptances. Over the holiday break, instead of relaxing, many seniors labored intensely over applications, while some patiently awaited acceptance letters. Several have already been accepted to their first choice schools through early decision. Seniors Blair Frazier, Ryan Hudson, and Lauren Falkenberg have all been accepted and committed to their first choice school. They are ecstatic to be attending the College of William and Mary, Hampden-Sydney College, and Salisbury University, respectively. One morning meeting in November, sixth-grade geography teacher and Hampden-Sydney alumnus William Moss approached the podium to announce Hudson’s acceptance into H-SC. “I’m so excited about going away from what I’m used to [and] trying something completely new,” said Hudson excitedly. Hudson is pleased with this news and cannot wait until August to attend H-SC. When Hudson first visited the campus, he knew it was where he wanted to be for the next four years. “I’ve heard so many good things

coming to theaters Already out: The Woman in Black Feb. 10: Star Wars: Episode 1The Phantom Menace Feb. 10: The Vow

and when I visited, it sealed the deal,” he said. Frazier was accepted into her first choice school of William and Mary. She received this exciting news November 30. “I was so happy and excited! I was jumping up and down and I just couldn’t stop smiling. I couldn’t believe that I had gotten in to my number-one choice,” she said. Now that Frazier has been accepted into college, her second semester will be less hectic. She will be able to relax more while knowing that she doesn’t have essays to write and applications to fill out. “It’s such a relief to know that I got into my top school. I can relax a little bit more and I didn’t have to stress about meeting a bunch of deadlines or being afraid of not getting in anywhere,” she said. Falkenberg is committed to Salisbury University to play Division 3 lacrosse. Falkenberg is nervous and excited to become a collegiate student-athlete, but she knows she will have to work hard. “I’m actually a lot more nervous than I thought I would be. It’s not that I’m nervous that

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I’m not good enough, I just feel a lot of pressure because it’s such a great opportunity to play, and I know I’m going to have to prove myself and work harder than I ever had,” she said. David Weiner, Director of College Counseling, is “absolutely thrilled” for the seniors that have already received college acceptances. “They have been accepted to places they truly love, and they feel that they are the best places for them,” said Weiner. Weiner has also created a twitter account dedicated to college acceptances, helpful application tips, and informative articles about colleges. “The main reason for creating the twitter account was because we wanted to get out information about college acceptances quickly and accurately. Also I will tweet interesting articles about finical aid, how selective schools are, and the emotional aspects of applying to college. I have received comments from parents and students about how they like it. It’s already had an impact, and there’s only room to grow,” said Weiner. His Twitter account name is @ FAcollege, and it is open to both parents and students to follow.

Guess the candidate “He is brilliant...a little radical at times, but I think that Congress could really make sure that those radical parts of him stay in check. And I think that he has never flip-flopped on everything.” see page 2



Whether you’re alone, with friends, or your sweetheart for Cupid’s celebration, let these tips spice up your day.

1. A perfect cup of hot chocolate in the ’Burg by Isabel Steven the falcon flier


2. Share the songs you love Romantic songs for you and your “boo” So Let Us Create by Jukebox the Ghost Daydreamer by Adele Seaweed Song by Passion Pit Each Coming Night by Iron & Wine Animal by Miike Snow Amy, I by Jack’s Mannequin Nothing Better by The Postal Service Me and You by She & Him Trying My Best to Love You by Jenny Lewis Birthday by Kings of Leon Reasons to Love You by Meiko Cult Logic by Miike Snow Little Secrets by Passion Pit I Thought I Saw Your Face Today by She & Him Towers by Bon Iver


McDonald’s $1.49

Caribou Coffee




Hyperion $3.00

Swiss Miss packet

abel Steven

cream. The sweetness of this entire experience was heightened by the fact that it was a dollar less than Caribou Coffee and twice as good. Hyperion Espresso’s hot chocolate at $3.00 had a good balance of sweet and bitter flavors. The high quality of chocolate gave it a complex flavor while the full milk thickened the texture. The friendliest service added to the appeal, as well as the familiarity of its downtown location. However, the best cup of hot chocolate was the one I made at home with a Swiss Miss mix. Made with whole milk and topped with three marshmallows—distinctly lacking from all the rest of the drinks—it had the best taste and the added advantage of being extremely cheap. Best of all, I don’t have to get bundled up and drive to the nearest coffee shop next time I want a cup. Then again, I probably won’t want another one for a long time.

Photo by Is

ontezuma, the most famous emperor of the Mayans, was rumored to drink 50 cups of hot chocolate a day. He must have had a stronger palate than me because I could only stomach five before swearing off the drink for the rest of the rest of the winter. Driving around Fredericksburg looking for hot chocolate joints reveals a distinct lack of cozy coffee shops, surprising since it’s a college town. However, the coffee shops I did enter, Caribou Coffee, Blackstone Coffee, and Hyperion Espresso, were all very friendly with even more welcoming armchairs. Easily the worst cup of the day was McDonald’s hot chocolate for $1.99. I tried giving it the benefit of the doubt, having heard their coffee was good, but this

drink is water that aspires to be hot chocolate and grey foam that wishes it was whipped cream. Wawa’s hot chocolate at $1.49 was not much better. The chocolate was obviously cheap and the drink overly sweet like they’d melted a dozen marshmallows into the water. I could barely drink three sips. Caribou Coffee, in Central Park, had a higher quality of chocolate and the whipped cream on top was the best of all I tried. For $3.49, however, the drink was not worth it; after a few sips the cloying sweetness was overwhelming. Of course, the majority of people drinking hot chocolate are kids, so it’s hardly surprising. For $2.40, Blackstone Coffee, located in Eagle Village, satisfied me with a higher-quality chocolate. It had a bitterer taste that cut the sweetness of the hot chocolate. It got bonus points for looking the prettiest with chocolate syrup swirls in the whipped

Blackstone Coffee


Whether you’re going to be single or swept off your feet this Valentine’s Day, it’s never a bad idea to make a playlist or send off a mix to someone special!

by Simone Wicker

the falcon flier

Songs for the single... Right as Rain by Adele Mind Your Manners by Chiddy Bang Lights by Ellie Goulding Impossible Soul by Sufjan Stevens Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes Ambling Alp by Yeasayer Breakin’ Up by Rilo Kiley Take Your Time (Coming Home) by fun. Fences by Phoenix Silver Lining by Rilo Kiley Vesuvius by Sufjan Stevens Promises, Promises by Incubus Where Does the Good Go by Tegan and Sara Sleep through the Static by Jack Johnson Better Things by Passion Pit Photos courtest of SXC.HU

Which V-Day flick is your pick?

3. Stay in with a Netflix favorite by Wyatt Davies

“If I had to choose I’d watch ‘Beauty and the Beast’ with my boyfriend.”

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Senior Sydney Hawkins

“With a big group of friends I would definitely want to watch ‘Mean Girls.’” Sophomore Kelsey Gedin

“I would probably watch ‘Valentine’s Day’ with my special someone.” Freshman Charlie Garbutt

“I’d want to watch ‘The Notebook’ with my girlfriend.” Junior Michael Covington

Compiled with love by Allegra Massey-Elim Photos courtesY of DESIGNEDITOR.TYPEPAD.COM

ince the creation of Netflix instant streaming, picking the perfect movie for date night has never been easier. Unlike the inconvenient aisle scanning and unhelpful staff at video rental stores (if any still exist), you can easily navigate through many movies in many different categories on pretty much any device with an Ethernet port. Out of the vast selection, “No Strings Attached” and “From Paris with Love” are two of The Falcon Flier’s favorite movies for date night. Imagine you are fifteen-year-old Adam (Ashton Kutcher). You meet fifteen-year-old Emma (Natalie Portman). While Adam may be a young stud, he is going through emotional problems like socially awkward Emma. Even though he is Mr. Stud, Emma turns him down. This is the beginning of “No Strings Attached.” Fifteen years later, both are alone and are unwilling to commit to a relationship. After having a one-

night stand, Adam and Emma become “friends with benefits.” However, as they spend more time with each other, they fall in love, just as one would expect in any predictable romantic comedy. There are many “aww” moments throughout the film. We are taken through the adorable journey from being “friends with benefits” to being in a serious relationship. Adam romances Emma many times throughout the film. He even brings her and her roommates cupcakes and a “period mix.” For a sappy love story, this film has its comedic moments. I had to pause the film more than once during the two straight minutes of menstruation jokes to catch my breath. The film is a great combination of a sappy love story and a hysterical comedy. Think “Friends with Benefits,” just not as funny and with more romance. I enjoyed this movie, but caution partners to keep young ones away as it gets pretty raunchy. The movie is available to either watch instantly

online or by mail order.

HHHH For those who like their love stories to include the least amount of romance as possible, I recommend “From Paris with Love.” Since it is more of an action movie, it is great for those who aren’t big fans of sappy love stories. In “From Paris with Love,” James Reese (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is a spy for the CIA. His cover is an aid for the U.S. ambassador in Paris, France where he lives with his fiancée Caroline (Kasia Smutniak). After doing many minor jobs including replacing license plates, his actual boss gives him an important mission involving the experienced but loose-cannoned Charlie Wax (John Travolta). Reese and Wax are assigned to in-

vestigate and take down a drug ring involved with the death of a relative of the United States Secretary of Defense. They trace the drugs back to a Pakistani terrorist cell. Throughout the mission, a large body count is created from shootouts, explosions and betrayal. Only about one-fourth of the movie deals with Reese’s relationship with his fiancée. As the movie progresses, we see Reese’s and Caroline’s relationship go on a downward spiral. Halfway through the movie, Caroline sees Reese and Wax in an elevator with an escort. While it relates to the mission, Caroline cannot be told why. “From Paris with Love” has an overwhelming amount of action and barely any romance. It is a great date night movie for couples that aren’t into the whole “squishy” thing.


Photo courtesy of SXC.HU

2news page two

Students pick presidential favorites Republican Congressman Rob Wittman talks to FA students about current events and the changes needed in the political system.


by Matt Kirchner the falcon flier

With four candidates, 25 debates and four states decided on a candidate, the campaign season for the Republican nomination is under way. So far, this process has been anything but consistent. There have been several different leaders, each getting their chance in the limelight before they have fallen from grace. Each candidate has been faced with the challenge of appealing to moderates as well as conservatives, as well as the evangelical vote and the youth vote. While many voters in the upcoming primaries are yet to make up their minds, two FA students have made their choices on their favorite candidates. Juniors Andrew Murphy and Sam Bradshaw are almost completely different in their political views. Murphy, a Republican, has thrown his support behind Rick Santorum, while Bradshaw, a self-described Democrat, believes that Jon Huntsman or Ron Paul are the best in the current field of candidates. Murphy cycled through two candidates before deciding on Santorum. “When it was first start-

ing out, I really liked the candidate Rick Perry. He seemed like a good candidate because a lot of his views lined up with mine. But as time went on and I saw him in debates, I realized that he might not be the best candidate for the country,” he said. Murphy’s second flavor of the month was Herman Cain, who dropped out due to scandal. “I liked Cain’s view on social policy, but especially his views on economic policy. I liked the ‘9-9-9’ plan. I really liked where he was going,” said Murphy, who still stands behind Cain’s policies. “I still think his economic policies were the best.” Bradshaw’s favorite candidates are much different from Murphy’s. “I like either Jon Huntsman or Ron Paul. I like Huntsman because he is one of the more moderate candidates along with Romney, although I feel Romney flip-flops too much, and he’ll probably try to act too conservative just to get Republican street cred. I like Ron Paul because he is brilliant. I think that he could be a very capable President. He is a little radical at times, but I think that Congress could really make sure

that those radical parts of him stay in check. And I think that he has never flipflopped on anything,” said Bradshaw. Murphy and Bradshaw also have different opinions on who has the best chance to win the primaries and which candidate would have the best chance to defeat President Obama. Murphy feels that when it comes to who has the best chance, “all signs point to Romney.” While Mitt Romney is not his first choice, he showed that he would be willing to get behind him if he were the nominee. “Romney is a very charismatic character. He has a lot of success in the private sector, which is what we need. We need economic stability. I would definitely stand by him if he was the candidate,” Murphy said. Bradshaw is not so certain that it is in the bag for Romney. “It is possible that one of these people who are getting a swing, like Herman Cain had and Santorum is having right now, it’s possible that another person could carry some momentum through a few primaries and it could affect the primaries drastically,” he said.

Second semester reveals teaching changes in quizzing TEACHERS USE NEW ONLINE RESOURCES TO SOLIDIFY LESSONS AND CONCEPTS TAUGHT IN CLASS WITH QUIZZES AND VIDEOS by Simone Wicker the falcon flier


he new semester has brought about plenty of new teaching tactics and techniques. One of the newest additions to the FA curriculum is the website “Class Marker,” which allows teachers to create a username and password for students and create online quizzes and tests. During a meeting with her professional learning community, which works to enhance technology use in the classroom,

math teacher Kris Hoppel was introduced to a way to quiz students anonymously on Google Survey. The program worked in serving its purpose, but it was not personal for students because they couldn’t receive grades based on their work. Other upper school math teacher Alpana Wilson was interested in finding more resources online regarding this technique. “She must have searched through the Internet and found,” said Hoppel. “There were quite a few advantages to that because you can

embed a video in it and it grades each person individually.” Other advantages are the ability to set up the quizzes so that at the end everyone can see what their grade is and the option to set it so it marks a question right or wrong as the quiz progresses. “The only reason I’m using it is for a quick five minute quiz at the beginning of class to see if the students know their information, to see if they were staying on top of what we’re doing in class,” explained Hoppel. “Hope-

fully once we get into it, it won’t take any time at all to log in and get it started.” The overall class reaction to the website has been mixed. “They didn’t come out and say ‘This is awful!’ I just think they are a little taken aback because

they’re going to be graded on it,” said Hoppel. In addition to math class, has been used in French class with Suzi Valentine. After using it one time, senior Sydney Hawkins decided that the website took away from the classic purpose of

quizzes. “I don’t really think I like it that much,” said Hawkins, “I definitely like paper and pencil quizzes and tests, especially for multiple choice.”

PHOTO BY ISABEL STEVEN hosts quizzes and videos of concepts to enhance classroom work

Academic probation teaches lesson by Lauren Falkenberg the falcon flier


Matthew King wears his uniform proudly before a big game.

Sophomore Matthew King has projected a lighthearted attitude for himself since joining the FA community this fall. He is often seen laughing, goofing around and walking with a certain “swagger,” as described by his teammates. But when I sat down with Matt for our interview, it was as if his carefree attitude disappeared; he talked in a serious tone and looked me in the eyes when describing his academic probation. He radiated with passion for basketball. “I have never worked that hard, honestly, in my life, to get back on that team,” King said as his eyes read determination. King’s probation began the week of Jan. 2, the day Christmas break ended. “It was kind of disappointing,” said junior and Captain AJ Topps. “At first the team seemed shocked that the school went through with it.” It is not surprising that students were a little bit taken aback by the school’s decision, since neighboring schools sometimes appear to put athletics before academics. FCS’s questionable athletic recruiting practices were detailed in the Dec. 17 article in The Free Lance-Star, “Public school transfers turn FCS into powerhouse.” The article states that FCS was known to put academics first, however, they are no longer as strict in enforcing academics before athletics. At FA, however, this is not the case; academics will always be the main concern, said Head of School Karen Moschetto. “[Our] academic reputation and integrity must always remain the number one priority,” Moschetto said. “[Aca-

demic probation] has always been a rule, but is not often one that has to be applied. But, we have it in place so we can help students back on the right track.” King was upset, but knew it was the right thing to do. “It opened my eyes,” he said. “You need to do well in school, and I see basketball as a reward for doing well.” The probation only lasted two weeks, thanks to King’s perseverance. “I had a lot of motivation because I wanted to be back on the team. I love my teammates, and I didn’t want to let them down,” he said. King has played basketball for nine years and plans on continuing in a Division I university. He is grateful for his experience in probation. “I don’t [regret it] because it has taught me a lesson. If I were at my old school, I would be getting bad grades and not caring. It’s better for the long run and getting into college.” King is continuing to bring his grades up, so he can continue to improve with his team. He sees a lot of potential for the next few years. “We are just young. Public schools have better athletes, but FA can be really good if we keep working,” he said. Both King and Moschetto agree that academic probation can act as a life lesson. According to Moschetto, it is a test of accountability and responsibility. “It teaches the students that there are no free passes— you have to work hard, and you have to do things well,” she said. “The academic standards are high here,” said King. “But I’m comfortable here—it’s a really nice school. It’s changed me; it’s helped me.”

3News page three

Dawson tells students to speak up about temps


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During the frigid winter months, the last thing any student wants is to have to bundle up inside their own school. It’s no secret that the temperature in FA’s upper school is usually a little too cold for comfort. The school’s temperature is supposed to be in the low 70’s, but with the weather constantly changing this season it’s hard for the heating system to catch up. The heating system brings in air from the air ducts on the roof,

and depending on the temperature outside, it has to work to either cool off or warm up the air. The school’s heater works off of boilers. Throughout the building there are 60 VAV units, which are similar to radiators, according to Matthew Dawson, the Director of Facilities and Operations. Dawson has sensors in all of the classrooms that tell him the temperature of the air being flowed into the room. The rooms on the outside of the building are always a little colder than the rest. Some students are getting fed up. “I always feel like I have to wear a jacket because it’s so cold,” said freshman Kobe Daniels. During the first cold snap of the season, the

boilers were down, which explains why it was so chilly in the school. “Now that they are repaired, we should be okay,” said Dawson. This isn’t the first time the upper school has had problems with the heaters. In past years students have complained of the buildings being too cold to bear. “It’s not nearly as cold this year as it was last year,” said sophomore Jonathan McClanahan. Dawson encourages people to let him know if there is a problem. The students are the best way to tell if the school is too cold or not. Don’t hesitate to let him know; he welcomes the feedback and will come over to check it out.

Students share knowledge from diversity conference Continued from front page

The conference was spent primarily talking in different group discussions. Eggleston, Fried and Wack were split into family groups of around 30-40 students to discuss the sociological side of prejudices against race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexuality and age. Eggleston, Fried and Wack also met in groups based on what they most strongly identify as. Fried met in the white/European group where they discussed “white guilt”— guilt over ancestors’ past deeds—as well as racism and prejudice. Wack chose to meet

in the LGBTQIAP (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Ally, Pansexual) group. Wack—who identifies as bisexual— talked with fellow students about how they identified and shared personal experiences as LGBT teens. “It was the only time in my life I’ve been around people who are so supportive of LGBT issues. It was the first time I’d come out to a large group of people, and it was great to see there is such a strong network of people who care,” said Wack. The other activities that the three enjoyed during the conference were lectures from guest speakers and the

“Silent Movement,” which, as of press time, is planned for FA’s Diversity Day on Feb. 6. Different identifying factors will be read out to the upper school and whoever identified with it will stand up. The hope is to illustrate FA’s differences and similarities. “The Silent Movement shows you don’t need words all the time to express how you feel and what you believe. The power of silence can express it,” said Fried. Eggleston, Fried, and Wack have brought new viewpoints and ideas back to AFFECT, a club that was created initially as a GayStraight Alliance club that quickly expanded

to include support of all issues discriminated against. “It’s not a matter of changing people, but getting them to tolerate and respect people instead. People may not necessarily agree with someone’s choices or beliefs, but respect is the key,” said Fried. AFFECT feels that the prevalence of prejudice in society is a problem that needs to be addressed more directly. Diversity Day is the first method AFFECT is using to educate the student body on these issues. Members of AFFECT and selected students will discuss issues such as racism, sexism, and homophobia in student families. “One of the main

reasons prejudice and these ideas that repress others are still around and will be around for many years to come is because everyone looks at themselves as the individual. No one looks at themselves and thinks, ‘I am society; what I do affects society as a whole.’ The truth is, everyone is a part of society and if everyone says to themselves, ‘it’s not me who’s doing all these things, it’s not me who thinks these things,’ then nothing is going to change,” said Wack. In addition to discussion groups, Xavier Richardson, Executive Vice-President of Medicorp Health Systems and President of Washington Hospital Foun-

dation, will speak to the upper school. AFFECT also plans to implement a Bullying Policy by the end of the year. It will include definitions for physical, social and verbal bullying and a ban on derogatory slurs. AFFECT hopes to work with the administration and the Discipline Committee to set up appropriate punishments for infractions of the policy. “[The policy] will create an environment where people feel safe and happy. Sometimes you can’t change how someone feels about something; getting them to respect people is the best thing you can do. You can learn a lot from being tolerant,” said Fried.

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4feature p a g e

f o u r

a little bird tells all through twitter by WYATT DAVIES the falcon flier

Throughout the quick paced walking and loud chatter amongst friends in the commons, there is an even louder conversation going on. You need an internet connection to hear it. But where? Twitter. Twitter is a microblogging site in which users can send updates called “tweets” that are received by people subscribed to the account (followers). Updates can be up to 140 characters long, and can be directed at another user by putting an @ symbol before their username. Since its debut in 2006, Twitter has become immensely popular around the world, especially at FA. Over the past six months, Twitter usage by members of the FA

community has significantly increased. Throughout the course of the day, users tweet about various things going on in their lives by text message and mobile apps, since the website is blocked by the school’s filter on laptops. Upper school students like senior Anne Douglas Goforth (@ BeyANNEce) and junior Erin Garay (@ erinmarie948) are avid twitter users. Goforth logs on to keep in touch with her friends and favorite celebrities. “It’s a great way for procrastination and to get your thoughts out there,” she said. Goforth said Twitter is also extremely popular with her friends. “I check my texts more, but people are communicating over twitter almost as much as texting.”

Twitter is on par to be just as popular with Facebook. Users like Garay visits the site about four times a day. “Twitter has become so popular because it is far easier to access anywhere, including at school if you have a phone.” The community has even found a great educational use for Twitter. College Counselor David Weiner has created a college counseling twitter account (@facollege). Weiner thinks that “Twitter has a huge educational use… It points parents and students in the direction of articles that can really give some insight into the college application process.” With the audience of the world at your fingertips, you might say that a tweet is the most powerful 140 characters you can type.

#Dos and Don'ts DON’T use Twitter to spew arbitrary hate comments about people via ‘subtweets’ or #OOMF (the acronym for “One of my followers”). Nobody cares about your personal problems with someone else. DON’T use #hashtags to categorize something that nobody else is talking about (i.e. #omgilovemynewbootsandtheyaretheprettiest)

DO use #hashtags when appropriate to categorize. DO retweet and converse with people, there is a reason why it is called a social network. DO make your 140 characters count, nobody cares that you are going to the gym.

DON’T click on suspicious links in Direct Messages or mentions, even if they are from your friends and promise you free bacon.

Trendy Twitter Users @beyANNEce (senior Anne Douglas Goforth) @MegC_HAMMER (sophomore Meghan Norair) @Busta_Ryans (senior Ryan Hudson)

Summer Latin Academy changes perspective With application deadlines for this summer’s Residential Academies nearing, here are a few words of advice for those consideirng one: make sure you like the subject enough to stand immersing yourself in it for three weeks surrounded by 40 plus kids. You don’t have to be the best at it; if you’re good enough to get accepted, you deserve to be there. Go into the experience with an open mind; if you go thinking you’ll be miserable, you will be. If you go in hoping to learn and make some friends, you will.

by ISABEL STEVEN the falcon flier

Panic. I shoved it down and stuffed it under my dorm bed with my suitcase. Really, it would be fine; Governor’s Latin Academy couldn’t be all that bad. And then in walked “Princeps,” the director. Out of her mouth streamed a language dead for almost 2,000 years. I had made a terrible mistake. Why had I talked myself into three weeks of Latin Acad-

emy, of all places? It was summer; I was supposed to be relaxing, not translating ancient Latin written by dusty old Romans. I certainly hadn’t intended on conversing in it. My brain flooded with horrible thoughts as it is wont to do in dread-filled situations. What if I was the dumbest student and made a fool of myself ? What if the people here were ultra-competitive scholars? What if they all actually spoke Latin? Did I even like Classics enough to be here? Why had I sacrificed sleeping in until noon for early mornings? More importantly, had I really given up my chance to go to the midnight premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hal-

lows” for this? What was I thinking? Yet, within 10 minutes, my doubts were erased. Ten girls, all with the same apprehensions, crowded into my dorm room. Together we lamented missing “the Deathly Hallows” opening night and admitted terror over speaking Latin. Maybe I’d find some friends here after all. Forty-three juniors and seniors throughout Virginia gathered at Randolph-Macon College for, as Princeps described, “an intense academic experience— this is not camp.” We were not allowed to bring electronics that connected us with the outside world; no phone calls home, no Facebook. The inten-

tion was that we would connect with each other instead. Sounds abysmal, but in truth it wass an incredible experience, academically and socially. We were all “Latin nerds”. We could, without fear of derision, talk about how ridiculous it was that Greek had no ablative case, or that Caligula had once made his horse a senator. We eagerly participated in the Ashland Fourth of July parade, draped in togas, shouting “Ecce Romani!” It was not uncommon for us to point out elements of classical architecture on buildings to each other jokingly. The classes did prove to be challenging, but fascinating. My professors showed an un-

bridled passion for the Classical world. I learned about everything from Roman espionage to ancient novels. I had panicked at the start of Latin Academy about whether my knowledge was on par with my peers. I shouldn’t have worried; my FA Latin teachers had me well-prepared. More importantly, Latin Academy helped me see that I may want to study Classics in college. I now am looking specifically at schools with strong Classics programs. My previous response to the topic of college-searching was “Don’t talk to me about that; it stresses me out.” After this experience, I’m excited to meet college students who, like my peers at Academy,

are just as passionate about life and learning as I am. Latin Academy was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Through it, I realized how truly enthusiastic I am about Classics, I gained a wealth of knowledge from talented teachers, and I found incredibly gifted and kind friends. Every moment I spent at Academy was worth sacrificing my sleep and even (I hate to admit) the Harry Potter premiere. There was no need for me to have been so stressed on that first day of class. My professors, knowing what lay in store, had reassured us all, “Noli per timere” (don’t panic).

American winters tame in comparison to Finnish temperatures by ROOSA BERG the falcon flier


Even if it is really cold in Finland during the winter season, it is still very beautiful.

It sounds funny to me when someone complains that it is cold outside. I might agree, but when I think about Scandinavia and Finland, the weather outside feels suddenly warmer. In Finland, we usually get snow during November, and it melts in the end of May. Here in America, I heard that school will be cancelled if there is “a lot of ” snow, or if the roads are covered by ice. For safety it is good of course. In Finland, we might have more snow than you can imagine, but we can still go to school. For the winter, we have snowplows and antiskid tires that help peo-

ple to move from one place to another. That is not the only thing because sometimes it gets really cold. It might be -20 to -35 Celsius outside. In that weather, people wear winter trousers and clothes that don’t allow the cold wind to bother you too much. If you are not wearing warm clothes, I can’t even describe how it feels when your fingers turn black & grey. I don’t know about America, but in Finland, especially in new houses, there is underfloor heating, which makes the floor feel warm. A lot of Finns also use radiators during the winter season. It is also very important that you have good insulation in the walls, so the warm air stays

inside. Sometimes when it gets very cold in Finland, it might be that you can’t start your car because it coagulates. That is why a lot of people use heaters for their cars during the night. When people go to work in the morning, the car gets warm soon and the windows of the cars are not covered by ice because of the heater. A lot of people use buses, trains, subways and streetcars to get to school or workplace, especially when it is cold because sometimes it is easier than using your own car. There are also heaters for the streets in the big cities, so people can actually walk there. Malls and stores are usually near each other, so it does not take a

long time to walk from one place to another. Finland is near the North Pole, which creates the cold weather. Also, there is a different kind of climate in Finland. In America it seems to be very humid, but in Finland it is kind of “dry” weather, even when it is cold. Even if it is really cold in Finland during the winter season, it is still very beautiful. For example during the night, the sky is beautiful with all the stars and northern lights. Also, when it is not windy, it does not feel too cold outside, and everybody gets used to it. Everybody should experience a winter like we have in Finland because even if it sounds scary, it is actually very “cool” to see and experience.


Proud Supporters of Fredericksburg Academy

6feature p a g e

s i x

Wizard of Oz double cast shoots for double success by Courtney Hoffman the falcon flier


n as little as two years the middle school drama department has blossomed from ten small aspiring performers to 60 excited actors. Thirty-six of these rowdy actors include Lower School students. This year this large group of lower and middle school students will bring “The Wizard of Oz” to life on the stage Feb. 1 through 4. Dedicated audience members, who are planning to attend numerous performances of “The Wizard of Oz,” will notice the actors filling the spotlights for different shows. With sixty auditions, director Liz Eschen, decided to create two casts both of which will perform two shows each. The decision to have two casts came easy after seeing all the talent presented during auditions, she said. “I decided to do ‘The Wizard of Oz’ because I looked at potential auditions and knew it would be a very strong group of women who

were capable of having leads. I knew with ‘The Wizard of Oz’ I’d not only have Dorothy but also the trio and witches. There’s a lot of opportunity for individual success and individual opportunities to shine and I really wanted that out of this year’s musical,” said Eschen. Double casting the show has created extra work for Eschen through having to teach blocking twice during rehearsals, yet even with difficulties there have been some bright sides with double casting as well. “Double casting is both brilliant and awful all at the same time. It’s brilliant because you get to work with a larger amount of students one on one and Photos by Courtney Hoffman foster the creative ener- Chorus teacher Liz Eschen has worked double time to prepare the double-casted show. gies of more children. double cast to their adThere has also been the dance moves. good performance. And when you double vantage. Sixth grader a familiar face help“I hired Tiffany “Definitely come cast you get the ability Emma Harrison, who ing behind the scenes Toner as a guest direc- out and see it. Tiffany to know the kids bet- is in the Emerald Cast of the musical. Tiffany tor and she came and Toner has really been ter. It’s been wonderful and as the Oz Lady, has Toner, previous upper did choreography with an Assistant Director; you get to see the kids enjoyed working with school drama teacher, almost 60 kids through- a remote one. The ideas shine. In rehearsal time two casts. has helped choreograph out the course of the she’s brainstormed with it’s awful. We’re farther musical day,” said Eschen. “It’s real fun because numerous me about lights and behind than I’d like us you get to see how peo- numbers. The students With the large cast scene changes—the acto be,” said Eschen. ple interpret it and act attended a five hour re- and many strenuous tual production is going While Eschen is and how others inter- hearsal on a Saturday hours of work Eschen to be really neat,” said struggling with double pret it and act it out,” where Toner worked to is inviting people to Eschen. cast rehearsals, the said Harrison. teach all cast members come out, promising a actors are using the

Environmental teams educate students about conservation School makes efforts to “go Green” with green cup challenge by Meggie Roche

Nearly a third of teens polled admitted to texting while driving.

the falcon flier


A has made it a priority in recent years to be more environmentally friendly. The Green Cup Challenge is a key component in this by challenging students to reduce their energy use. In 2008, FA joined the Green Schools Alliance. The school pledged to reduce its carbon footprint. Simple things like using natural light instead of electricity help reduce energy consumption. The hope has been that the habits developed during the Green Cup Challenge will carry over into the rest of the year. “As citizens of the planet it is our responsibility to care for the earth and make sure that future generations get to enjoy what we today are enjoying,” said Debbi Rizzi, FA’s director of finance and advisor of the Green Team. During the Green Cup Challenge, schools in the Chesapeake region compete to see who can save the most energy in a month. In 2010, FA did remarkably well. The school came in second for the region and got first place for day schools. In total that year the

Photo Courtesy of Surfrider Foundation

school saved 16,911 kilowatt hours, a reduction of 18.4%. However, in 2011 the school did not do as well. FA only saved 360 kilowatt hours throughout the entire challenge. “During 2011, we didn’t save as much energy mostly because we were in school throughout the whole challenge. However, in 2010, we were at home due to snow conditions for most of it,” said Green Team leader Isabel Steven. On January 26, Neil Seldman, President of the Institute for Local Self Reliance, talked to the student body via Skype about the importance of being green. The Institute for Local Self Reliance helps citizens, policy makers and entrepreneurs come up with ways to be more environmentally friendly. The middle school

Eco Team also gave a presentation about the importance of recycling. The hope is that this year students will be more enthusiastic about saving the environment since in past years it has been easy to forget about this issue. “I want to take it seriously, but I almost forget that the challenge is going on,” said sophomore Rory Dunn. Perhaps this is because students seem don’t seem to take the challenge seriously. Last year students would turn on lights just after a member of the Green Team had turned them off. While it seemed funny, it really did affect the results of the challenge. “It is a way to not only bring the school community together to create a difference, but to encourage other schools to do the same,” said Rizzi.

Because motor vehicle accidents are the #1 killer of our teens, it’s time to start talking about what we’re doing behind the wheel. Call or stop by for your own copy of the Allstate Parent-Teen Driving Contract. It will help you and your teen start the conversation.

8Sports page eight

Ten ingredients for a successful team by WYATT FALCONE

On and off the court with varsity basketball players Ryan Hudson, #21

the falcon flier

First basketball memory: I remember in fifth grade I got hurt during football… I wanted to find another sport to play. I played Parks and Rec. It’s fast paced, anyone can play—it’s just fun.

Girls varsity basketball coach Jeff Eckerson, boys varsity basketball coach Phillip Brown, and FA swim coach Sheila Wimble identified what it takes to create a successful team. This is a list of their top 10 traits.

1. Respect


2. Skill


3. Working hard to improve every day 4. Having fun 5. Patience 6. Confidence 7. A large, dynamic group 8. Putting players in situations where they can be successful 9. Perserverence 10. Teamwork

Career highlight: We played Wakefield Country Day after a snow day [last year], and if we won that we wouldn’t have to play Tandem to get to the Championship. That [win] led us to the Championship for the first time. Team’s favorite pump-up song: “The Second Coming,” by Juelz Santana. It’s kind of a tradition. It illustrates teamwork and we just love it.

Brown Eckerson Wimble Brown Wimble

Eckerson Wimble Brown

New traditions: When we break, we say “fist,” instead of, “Falcons” because we’re five guys on the court, tight like a fist.

Simone Roberts, #10 How she got into basketball: My brother and I used to play all the time when we were smaller. Highlight from this season: The very first game, against Wakefield School Inc., at half time we were down by 6. We inbound the ball, and Courtney got trapped. She throws it to me and I chuck it up there for a 3-point buzzer beater, so we were only down by three. Team bonding: Whenever we stop to eat [on the way back]; whether we win or lose, it’s always fun. On coming from King George to FA: You have more chances of making the team [here]. At KG, if you’re not good, you’re not going to make the team. It sucks because there are some people who don’t care. We’re also nice here at FA— it’s a good and bad thing. PHOTOS BY LAUREN FALKENBERG

FA swim team loses key swimmers as seniors graduate by COURTNEY HOFFMAN the falcon flier

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This year’s swim team has two freshmen, two sophomores, two juniors, and nine seniors. The girls have gone undefeated and the boys have only three losses. The seniors, however, only have one more chance to earn a spot in states. Currently, nine swimmers have gained a spot in states participating in the boys and girls 200 Medley relays and girls 50 freestyle. Of those nine swimmers, over half are seniors. With so many seniors leaving the team, Coach Shelia Wimble is expecting her underclassmen to step up and take control. “It is always tough losing seniors, especially when you’ve seen them be a part of this team for so long. They will all be missed! It is really hard to see so many of them leave, but all good things must come to an end, and I know that they will all do amazing things after graduation. Having so many seniors leaving will definitely put pressure on the underclassmen and future upperclassmen next year,” she said. This year the team has proven to be a strong group from

the beginning when “both the boys and girls 200 Medley relays made their state times at [their] first meet in December.” With these early qualifiers, it showed how ready the team was for a competitive season. “Every season brings a new perspective and I think that this season there is a strong level of competitiveness,” said Wimble. This competitiveness has helped push junior Kirstie Harry to beat the current school record in the 100 freestyle. This record was previously held by Cara Simpson ’06. Many swimmers are

Every season brings a new perspective and I think that this season there is a strong level of competitiveness.


still working to lower their times to meet state rankings. Along with her new record, junior Kirstie Harry has already met state rankings. Harry practices everyday with her teammates, all of whom are pushed to be their best by Wimble. “Practices don’t really change much from

year to year. We stretch and do dry lands, then swim anywhere between 1900-2300 meters depending on whether we have fins on or when the next meet is. Mrs. Wimble’s pretty consistent,” said Harry. The season is not over yet though. The team still has two meets to compete in and potentially qualify. “We still have a few meets left and a couple swimmers who are working toward achieving a state time in their individual events,” said Wimble. As these swimmers are busily working on their state times, they are also forming deeper team bonds. The team can be seen on most Thursday evenings having pasta dinners together. Senior Erika Boggs values the time the team spends together especially outside of practices. “We all get to hang out and talk and eat and have a great time,” said Boggs. While many people wonder about the swim team next year, Wimble has faith in the rising swimmers to fill in the many spots the seniors will be leaving vacant. The state tournament will take place February 16 through February 19.

9Opinion pa g e n i n e

Changes desired in Wilbrandt responds to senior editorial to defend global service athletics, academics You would be hardpressed to find a student on campus that does not value extracurricular activities. Whether it is sports, music, or service, FA students do it all, and their ventures are celebrated and encouraged by the greater community. Service, in particular, is a major component of an FA education, and as pointed out by Mary Gray Johnson in her editorial in the last issue of The Falcon Flier, “The purpose of service, we must remind ourselves, is to use our means to fix or improve something.” I could not agree more with that sentiment, but the article also touted the need for local, community service as opposed to the need for global service, suggesting the inequities within our own community require addressing prior to looking outside our immediate area. There are clear benefits regarding any type of service, and the fact that where to serve is a point of contention is telling of the desire FA students have to give back to society. Yet, when we approach service from the most basic level, that of human rights, the differences in where we serve become obvious. The United Nations, the accepted protector of human

explanation of different types of service and why both local and global are needed rights, divides agreedupon rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into three levels. The fulfillment of each rights level is deemed essential if a country is to advance to the next stages of authentic rights protection. The primary level is that of liberty—civil and political protection from the state. The second level is equality—social, economic, and cultural equality in standards of living, work, health, and education. The final level is solidarity—emerging, collective rights of society as a whole, like sustainable development and peace. Arguably, the Constitution of the United States guarantees liberty rights for us all, enabling the focus of the country to be on the promotion of equality and solidarity rights while we also strive to maintain liberty rights. The concept of local service in the U.S., therefore, is one of expanding and supporting rights that are already granted to U.S. citizens. On the other hand, service focusing on other countries mostly exists within the first stage of liberty rights—establishing rights instead of expanding rights. When placed in this context, local service expands rights; global service establishes rights. No rights should be denied, but there is an inherent difference in which rights get addressed when we choose to

serve others outside of the United States. The UN established a series of guidelines in 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which outline extensive plans to address the greatest global areas of need, like extreme poverty and hunger, universal education, and child health, among others. Estimates made by the World Bank state that it would take $40-$60 billion per year in foreign aid to achieve the MDGs by 2015, provided the policies and institutions of countries in need were reformed as well. The cost of supporting global development is minimal, relatively speaking; the budget for the U.S. Department of Defense in 2011 was $548.9 billion. When translating that into global action, a little bit of time, money, and resources can go a long way in providing individuals with the ba-

sic rights previously denied to them. Community service, whether it’s addressing the local or global community, will continue to promote human rights. Deciding the area of greatest impact and need is up to each individual; yet, each individual should first decide what they value most: helping to expand rights or helping to establish rights. Perspective can provide an even greater meaning to service, and understanding why we help is just as important as helping. Thank you for whatever service commitment you give to our world, and next time you volunteer, think about what community means to you. --Heidi Wilbrandt middle school history teacher and senior exhibit coordinator

and relationships The Staff’s Stand

This month, The Falcon Flier decided to make a list of the five top things we’d like the administration, Board of Trustees and students to consider as they plan for the next decade here at FA.

should be a reason for students to 1. getSports excited. Because of the sports require-

ment, many students have been forced to play sports they wouldn’t otherwise play. Each team inevitably has a few unmotivated players, and there is little effort to increase spirits. Adversely, we think the sports requirement is beneficial because it forces students to get involved, and results in a love of sports for many who wouldn’t otherwise play. There should be more work put into making sports a fun thing for people to look forward to. The sports requirement is a good thing, but the school should be doing more to get kids excited about the sports they choose.

One of the best things about playing or

a high school sport is having a ri2. watching valry with another team. It’s not as great,

however, when the other team is from the same high school. FA sports teams should not have to be competitive with each other. Whether it is field hockey and tennis or soccer and lacrosse, it seems that internal competition always exists. Let’s stop the unnecessary conflicts and channel that energy into being better than another school, not each other. If the athletic department focuses on scheduling in a way that builds external rivalry, skill and attitude will improve tremendously.

Advisory time should be a time when 3. students get to know their advisor in such a


Alumnus Paige McDermott spent her senior exhibit learning activity in Kenya teaching children. She then worked to raise $1,800 to fund 18 Kenyan kids’ educations.

Game turnout sinks in winter sports season

Former teacher Katie Blashford reflects on benefits of FA’s digital preparation and its effects on further education.

way that they become comfortable talking to them when they have a problem. That is what advisors were made for, but many students feel distant from their advisors because they have been limited to only academic topics. Students used to be able to choose their advisors, and advisory time used to be utilized by students to talk about their problems and have a small break from school. Now, only a few teachers choose to talk about anything beyond school. Advisors shouldn’t be therapists to students, but the teachers need to make the students feel more comfortable sharing personal concerns in addition to academic ones. As a college preparatory school, FA 4. should have fully integrated SAT and ACT

prep into the curriculum long ago. And although an SAT prep course offered to seniors is a great opportunity, it should be starting earlier than that. Sophomores, juniors, and even freshmen need more preparation than just the PLAN and the PSAT. They should be provided with mandatory prep courses from the earliest possible moment; ones that are an actual class during the day. We are a college prep school, so why doesn’t the test-prep, a key element of college preparation, start earlier?

Finally, the school should focus more on 5. removing the division between the lower,

middle and upper schools. There have been instances where upper school students have connected with lower school students, like the senior World Cultures class pairing up with first graders as reading buddies or the AP Government class teaching fourth graders about the Constitution. But these are rare occurrences and need to be seen more. The school needs to be connected in more ways than just seeing younger kids at pep rallies and sporting events. This would strengthen our sense of community significantly.



Letters to the Editor

Mary Gray Johnson editor

Simone Wicker managing editor

Lauren Falkenberg design editor

Liz Benavides copy editor

Courtney Hoffman business manager


Staff 11-12

Allegra Massey-Elim Isabel Steven Matt Kirchner Meggie Roche Roosa Berg Samantha King Wyatt Davies Wyatt Falcone reporters

Beth Hunley adviser

The Falcon Flier is produced by the Fredericksburg Academy upper school newspaper staff to inform and entertain the 216 middle and upper school students. The publication is a member of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and the National Scholastic Press Association. Students or faculty who wish to express their views in The Falcon Flier are encouraged to submit letters to the editor to:

photo courtesy of sxc.HU

CARTOON BY ISABEL STEVEN 540.898.0020 February 2011 Issue 4, Volume XX 10800 Academy Drive, Fredericksburg, VA 22408

The Falcon Flier--February 2012  

The February 2012 issue of Fredericksburg Academy's student newspaper, The Falcon Flier.

The Falcon Flier--February 2012  

The February 2012 issue of Fredericksburg Academy's student newspaper, The Falcon Flier.